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Maliki resigns as Iraqi PM

  • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced late on Thursday he would step down after eight years in office, opening a new political chapter that U.S. officials hope will decrease Iraq's sectarian divisions.
  • "I withdraw my candidacy for prime minister in favor of Haider al-Abadi, in order to safeguard the unity and stability of Iraq and the political process," says Maliki.
  • Thanks to its vast oil reserves, Iraq’s GDP increased under Maliki's tenure, but so has corruption, waste and terrorism.
  • Al-Abadi is faced with the daunting task of moving the country toward a united front and fighting Islamic State.
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